There are 9 million women-owned businesses in the United States; they account for $1.3 trillion in revenue. American women are starting businesses at a rate twice that of men. Most of these women are also moms.
What does it take to be successful as both a mom and as an entrepreneur? Moms Mean Business gives existing and potential mom business owners the encouragement, advice, and healthy dose of "how-to" they need.
In this helpful guide, you will create a customized strategy that includes:
Behind-the-scenes stories and advice from well-known mom entrepreneurs make Moms Mean Business fun to read and full of that all-important "me, too!" factor. It is inspiring, motivating, and, above all, practical.
|Edition description:||First Edition|
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About the Author
Erin Baebler has spent the past 10 years coaching women in transition through her company, Magnolia Workshop. She has been featured on several mom-focused blogs and Websites, had an essay published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: New Moms, was a contributor to Five Must Know Secrets for Today's College Girl, and is a sought-after speaker. She and her husband have two children and live in Seattle.
Lara Galloway is the Mom Biz Coacha certified coach, entrepreneur, sought-after speaker, and frequent media guest. Lara has a strong social media reach that includes more than 24,000 Twitter followers, a Blog Talk Radio show that boasts more than 4,000 downloads each week, and a weekly Twitter chat. She lives near Detroit, Michigan, with her husband and three children.
Read an Excerpt
Who You Are
So you think you want to start a business. Or maybe you already have but it's not yet as swimmingly successful as you'd hoped. Or maybe it's successful but you don't feel the sense of satisfaction you had expected. Whatever the situation, it's important to be clear about who you are and what you are setting out to do. As you know, things don't always go the way you imagined they would. That's why having both a strong foundation and a solid plan is so important. They will help you weather the storms and endure the inevitable setbacks.
There are serial entrepreneurs out there who simply look for viable businesses and a market that will buy their wares so they can make some money. But in all our years of coaching mom entrepreneurs, not one of our clients has chosen this approach to business. Instead, most moms tend to yearn for purposeful work that provides us the freedom, flexibility, and fulfillment we crave. We want to be there for our child(ren), and we want to do work that matters to us. Of course, we also want to make money, but if that's the only thing driving you, there are easier ways to make a living than owning a business.
We'll begin with a surprise. (Who doesn't love a good surprise?) The first step toward planning your business as a mom entrepreneur actually has nothing to do with the business at all. Nope, this first big step is not determining what the business is, but who you are. It doesn't matter at this point what you plan on selling or how you plan to market and deliver it. (Of course, these elements are critical, but we'll sort them out later.) What matters is who you are and what your unique goals are.
Designing your own path might not be as simple as you think it is, because it's easy to be swayed by outside forces. In fact, you might be living a life that turned out the way it did because it's what your mom wanted for you. It could be the way it is because it's what your partner thought was best. Or it could be that you created your current life based on what seemed safest or what felt like the path of least resistance. We are bombarded with messages from the media, from friends and family, and even from our own inner voice about how things are "supposed" to be. So as you go through the exercises in this book, we challenge you to check in to make sure the voice that is answering the questions is your own. It's absolutely essential to answer the questions for yourself without worrying about what others expect from you or what you think you should choose. From a space of calm reflection, we're going to ask you to purposefully reflect on how you want things to be. That's the only way to see what changes you need to make to true up your current life with the one you want going forward. It helps you quiet the noise that can so easily influence everything you do.
This is also a great time to look at the ideals and standards you might be trying to live up to. For instance, if you want your home to look like a Pottery Barn store or think your family should resemble the models in a J. Crew catalog, you have to be willing to do the work it takes to create a life like that. In other words, does spending a lot of your time and money on perfect hair and beautiful bookshelves correlate with the idea you have for your life and your business? If so, great! (We'd love to be invited over to hang out in that flawless house of yours.) If not, though, it's time to stop trying to achieve someone else's ideas of what life should look like. If you tend to judge yourself against some perfect version of what life can be, it's worth considering whether that version of life is really what you want. Even if everyone around you seems to want their life to look a certain way, that does not mean you have to want that too. We are talking about your life, after all, and as long as you spend your time and energy on what's most important to you, you're sure to be on a path that leads to your vision.
So let's find out more about you. Read the following statements and respond by placing a number from 1 to 10 in the blank. A 1 means you don't agree with the statement at all, and a 10 means that you agree with it completely. Choose the number that you feel best represents where you are right now.
_____ 1. My day-to-day life is filled with purposeful activities that align with my priorities and values.
_____ 2. I have my own definition of success and a plan to achieve it.
_____ 3. I have a good balance of work time, family time, and personal time in my typical week.
_____ 4. My work is fulfilling and I look forward to it most days.
_____ 5. My day-to-day activities utilize and highlight my strengths, skills, and style in a way that makes me feel as though I contribute to my family and community.
_____ 6. I'm clear on my priorities and make sure that they show up first and foremost in my life.
_____ 7. I almost always choose activities that play to my strengths and try to limit tasks that don't.
_____ 8. My family and friends support my choices, encourage me to be my best self, and help me when I need it.
_____ 9. I spend time planning for the future, have an idea of what is next for me, and know when it will all likely happen.
_____ 10. I'm energized by my work and excited about the future.
_____ 11. My time is well spent and I am usually able to avoid being late and feeling rushed.
_____ 12. I say no to opportunities that I simply don't have time to take on.
_____ 13. I build and maintain strong connections with people who can help me and with those whom I can help.
_____ 14. I have a strong sense of who I am and what's most important to me.
_____ 15. I am living a life that works for me, not the life that someone else expected me to live.
_____ 16. I have good stress relief habits and take extra care with myself when I start to feel tension creeping in.
_____ 17. I make sure I have free time to do the things I love to do.
_____ 18. I know I can't do it all on my own and I regularly ask for help when I need it.
_____ 19. My work has a meaningful purpose for me.
_____ 20. I find time to fit in fun with family and friends on a regular basis.
_____ 21. I take good care of myself physically by eating well and finding time to work out.
_____ 22. I feel as though I can keep up with my life, and I know how to keep from getting overwhelmed by all of the little things coming at me on a daily basis.
_____ 23. I take ample time away from work, including days off during the week and weeks off during the year.
_____ 24. I have realistic expectations about what I can get done during this phase of my life.
_____ 25. I feel as though I have enough time to work steadily toward my goals and aspirations.
This assessment is meant to provide you with a snapshot of your life in this moment. Follow these scoring directions to better understand which areas need your attention:
Total the scores you gave for questions 1, 4, 6, 14, and 24. This score will help you understand how well you know and honor the things that are most important to you.
Write the total here: _____
If your score is between 40 and 50, you likely have a strong sense of your values, motivations, and priorities, and you do a good job of making sure that your life reflects those things.
A mid-range score (25-39) may indicate that you either aren't clear on what makes you tick, or, even if you are clear, your day-to-day life doesn't reflect that very well.
A score of 24 or lower probably means that you need to make this area a priority for now. Pay special attention to the parts of your life that aren't going the way you'd like them to and spend some time getting clear about your needs and wants.
Now total the scores you gave for questions 2, 9, 10, 15, and 19.
Write the total here: _____
If your score is between 40 and 50, you likely have a very strong understanding of what you want for your future. Being able to clearly envision success on your own terms makes you well equipped to pursue and reach your goals.
A mid-range score (25-39) indicates that you have some ideas about what you want but that those ideas could be even more focused. Scoring in the middle range here might also mean that you need to make sure that your definition of success is yours and yours alone.
A score of 24 or lower indicates that you would benefit from spending some time thinking about all that you want in both your life and your business. Once you do, you'll feel more in charge and begin to notice big changes in your life.
Now total the scores you gave for questions 3, 11, 12, 22, and 25. These questions have to do with time management.
Write the total here: _____
A high score here (40-50) shows that you have a great handle on how you spend your time and how you schedule your days.
A score in the middle range (25-39) reveals that you could make some simple changes when it comes to your schedule that will allow you to get more done in less time.
A score lower than 25 means that you likely spend your days rushing around without much to show for the time spent. Pay special attention to managing your time and implement some small changes that will make your days less harried and more productive. (We'll show you how to do that later.)
Now total the scores you gave for questions 16, 17, 20, 21, and 23. These questions have to do with self-care.
Write the total here: _____
A high score here (40-50) shows that you most likely have a good self-care routine in place. Keep up the good work and look for ways to add to it.
A score of 25 to 39 lets you know that there is some work to be done here. As moms, we tend to forget to put ourselves on our to-do list. As a mom entrepreneur, you simply can't afford to make that mistake. Make it a priority to create some self-care habits.
A low score (less than 24) means you have a lot of room for improvement. Focusing on this area and adding in some specific self-care routines will set you on your way to making yourself a priority and ensuring that you'll have the stamina to handle all that comes your way.
Now total the scores you gave for questions 5, 7, 8, 13, and 18.
Write the total here: _____
If you are conscious of your strengths, skills, and talents, and use them to your benefit on a regular basis, it's likely you scored a 40 or higher.
A score between 25 and 39 indicates that you need to become even more aware of all that you have available to you and how you can use those things to benefit you in both business and in life.
A score lower than 24 shows that you likely haven't taken the time to catalog all of your strengths, skills, and talents, and/or that you aren't leveraging them in a way that will help you get ahead.
Use this assessment to better understand the areas of your life where you have things handled and where you need to do a bit of work. Small changes can have a big impact, so don't let a score that is lower than you'd like discourage you. This assessment is just a starting point. Because the goal of this book is to help you increase your satisfaction with your life and your work, let's keep going.
Your Values, Motivators, Priorities, and Passions
First we're going to spend some time looking at your values, your motivators, your priorities, and your passions. For many of us, these things can be interchangeable, and when you're making a list of each of them, you will likely find some overlap. For instance, if you value family, you might also be very motivated by taking good care of your family, and family might also show up as both a priority and a passion. That's okay. In fact, that can even make it easier for you because when something makes it on more than one of your lists, you are pretty likely to pay attention to it. When we are talking about values, motivators, priorities, and passions, we are talking about the things that are most important to who you are and how you operate. When you have a good understanding of what those things are, you are going to have a much easier time making the decisions, changes, and choices you need to make in your life and in your business.
You are going to articulate some of the things that are most important to you and some of the things that will help drive you forward. You'll likely notice that it's not possible to give equal attention to each of them every day. For example, if innovation and independence are two of your top values or motivators but you find yourself in a financial hole, you may need to leave those on the shelf for a while so you can earn the money you need to keep your family afloat. That doesn't mean you are abandoning those things altogether; sometimes you just have to take care of the basics first. Once you are stable again, that's the time to start looking at how you can honor your need for innovation and independence. When you know what your values, motivators, priorities, and passions are, you can almost effortlessly create some effective guideposts for future happiness and satisfaction.
Now grab a pen and some paper. Throughout this book, when you see this icon
you'll know you need to be ready to make some notes or answer some questions.
Imagine that you're 90 years old. You look back on your life, and you feel incredibly satisfied with what you see. At this ripe old age, you've gotten rid of the shoulds in your life and you spend your days doing the things that matter most to you. You no longer worry about every little hiccup or what other people think. You're at peace.
From this place of wisdom, think about what is most important to you. In coach-speak, we call these things values. As the name suggests, these are the things on which we place the most value in both life and work, and they are also some of the things by which we (consciously or subconsciously) measure ourselves to see if our life is turning out the way we had hoped it would. Our values are often integral traits that remain fairly consistent throughout our lives, so checking in with them is a great way to figure out why we don't feel as satisfied as we want to.
When we live in a way that matches our core values, we feel satisfied and the road feels smooth. Conversely, when our values are out of whack, the opposite is true. So you can see how important it is to make a conscious effort to identify and live by your own values. Although largely inherent, your personal values can evolve in time, because you evolve in time, so it's important to revisit them. Failing to consciously identify and keep track of your values can lead to a lot of frustration and wasted effort. Because we want the opposite of frustration and wasted effort for you, we suggest you take a moment to think about and journal on your top five values right now.
Here is a brief list to get you going. This list is far from exhaustive so feel free to come up with your own words that express your personal values.
Now that you know what we mean by values and have had a chance to think about it, write down your top five values.
What motivates you in life and in business? What keeps you going day after day? You need to know the answer to these questions whether you're just starting to think about creating a business or you are already running one. Is this work something you feel you were meant to do? Is it the kind of work that makes you thrilled to get up in the morning? Is it work that came about because you saw a problem in the world that you knew you could fix? Does it help provide the life you want for your family? Whatever your motivation is, you need to name it and own it. Your motivators will always be there, helping you make choices and moving you toward your goals, so make sure you are clear on what is driving you.
We've worked with women who thought they were working for one reason, but after giving it careful thought, realized they were actually motivated to run their own companies because of some very strong beliefs, goals, or dreams. For example, one of our clients started a company simply believing she had a marketable idea for a product. One thing led to another, and the fairly quick success of her brand proved that she had been right. However, she soon realized that in order to really feel successful, she needed to acknowledge and act on her strong desire to give back to her community. It wasn't something that was in her business plan from the beginning but it became a driving force for her company.
Being clear about what motivates you will be especially important when you hit a rough patch. On those days, getting in touch with your motivators will help you keep going even if you feel like giving up.
Spend a few minutes thinking about what motivates you. Here are some common motivators:
* Your children
* Building a better life
* Helping others
* The desire to create something
* Ability to give back
* Doing something you love
We could go on and on, but now it's your turn. Ask yourself about your main motivations and write them down.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Moms Mean Business"
Copyright © 2015 Lara Galloway and Erin Baebler.
Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part I Own Your Life
Chapter 1 Who You Are 35
Chapter 2 Envisioning Success 67
Chapter 3 Time Management 89
Chapter 4 Self-Care 115
Part II Own Your Business
Chapter 5 Your Toolkit 149
Chapter 6 Business Planning 183
Chapter 7 Productivity Tools 217
Chapter 8 Staying on Track 237
Appendix A 22 Things You Can Outsource to a Virtual Assistant 267
Appendix B List of Contributors 269
Appendix C Author Q&A 275
About the Authors 287